More than 5,000 acres were seeded this year using the autonomous, diesel-powered Dot Power Platform.
“DOT went commercial this year,” says Rob Saik, CEO of Dot’s retail entity. “We had about a half dozen units that were in the Saskatchewan market place working on about four commercial farms. We went through a cycle of activity, we started with pre-seed burn down with the Pattison connect sprayer on the dot then we migrated into the seeding operation with the Seed Master…300 bushel drill with a 30 foot seeding apparatus.”
As the unit is only roughly two-years-old, Saik says they’ve learned a lot this past year in testing it with the two implements.
“Like any new piece of equipment, we had some things we didn’t anticipate, we had some hydraulic hose issues and that sort of thing, but overall we’re really really pleased with the performance of DOT. It ran good, the machine is reliable and the seeding equipment really really worked well, so we’re giving it pretty high marks.”
Saik adds DOT is quite precise with its seeding capabilities, as he claims it lines up within sub-inch accuracy against the next path the machine seeds.
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As for what’s next, Saik says they will be on the farm tour circuit this summer with a “big surprise” to happen at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show held in Ontario, and the unveiling of the NL5000 G5 Crop Nutrient Applicator on July 16.
“At the Ag in Motion show, we’re going to be introducing DOT 16 section precision variable rate fertilizer spreader,” he says. “Agronomically, which i like to work in, this really creates some excitement for me because we can load up DOT with granular fertilizer and spread that on a variable rate mapping system, 100 per cent autonomously.”
In addition to commercial production, Dot Farm Solutions is also looking at offering Dot as a custom application service.